Leave sex alone! - Pastor urges single Christians to leave love-making to married couples
I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows, I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. I Corinthians 7 vs 7 - 9.
Many young persons have fallen by the wayside in their attempt to walk with Christ. They accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour at an early age, and if they failed in finding their life's partner early, then many struggle with sexual desires.
They, of course, are human beings with blood running through their veins and sexual desire is as natural as breathing.
While some can handle these emotions without giving in to the desire to seek fulfilment, others seek sexual solace and end up leaving the faith, often returning after they are married.
Family and Religion reached out to Pastor Joan Gumbs of How Ya Livin' Now Deliverance Outreach Ministry who is also single.
Acknowledging that being a Christian does not absolve one from desiring the opposite sex, she said, "While it is OK to have feelings for members of the opposite sex, there should be no fornication - only marriage. This is the only relationship where your desires should be fully expressed."
According to Gumbs, God already knows that Christians have sexual desires and needs, and if those desires are not being met just yet, then it simply means the timing is not right.
Gumbs said there is no need to be ashamed of the sexual urges that will come up. Single Christians will just have to find a way to deal with it, bearing in mind that these urges can only be satisfied in the sanctity of marriage.
One way, she said, of preventing the frequency of these urges is to eliminate the things that feed these desires.
"Stop watching the sexual movies, stop reading erotic novels, and don't encourage sexual conversations, especially with unbelievers.
Other things you can do when you feel a desire is to occupy yourself with other things like visiting the shut-ins. That's actually one of my favourites. I find when you spend time to serve others, you soon forget about the desire," she said.
Gumbs said single Christians should try and find something creative that they genuinely enjoy doing and this will occupy their thoughts and leave less room to ponder or give in to sexual desires.
"Stay away from members of the opposite sex, especially those who fit your profile, and we all have one. In the same breath, make friends only with those members of the opposite sex who are committed to the Lord. If your dating pool consists of brothers who won't put pressure on you to have sex with them, then it will be easier for you to deal with your sexual desires," she said.
'ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS'
Gumbs said although it is a challenge to "abstain from fleshly lust" it is worth it.
She said giving in often comes with a sense of guilt, but once a single Christian waits until the right time, they will appreciate the lovemaking session more when they are in a committed, secure relationship called marriage that God Himself created.
Addressing those who give in to their desires on the grounds of weakness and expecting to be forgiven as "they are only humans", Gumbs said it is far from acceptable.
"He will forgive. David prayed in Psalm 19, 'Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sin; Let them not have dominion over me.' When you give in, you play into the devil's hands. What if in that moment of weakness when you gave in, you immediately had a heart attack and died? Where do you think you would spend eternity? Why do you think so many people have untimely, sudden deaths? Especially those who profess Christianity? Because the devil was waiting for that opportunity of slip up. And he doesn't play fair. So you won't get a chance to repent," she pointed out, adding that some may be fortunate enough to get a second chance.
For Gumbs, to avoid the trap of fornication, she tries not to get aroused. This, she said, can be done by avoiding things that "turn you on".
Kissing and having certain parts of your body touched can bring about these desires, as she said few women get turned on by just looking at a man.
Gumbs said there are times when single Christians will literally have to 'run' just like Joseph with Potiphar's wife.
"If you are being courted by person(s) who want you to compromise your values by having sex before marriage, then you should run."
She said it is not hard to spot the warning signs as the minute they appear, you will know.
"Some include touching in inappropriate places, being taken to secluded places, where you are forced to be alone together, and being told outright that if you have certain types of sex that does not include vaginal penetration then it isn't really sex, and so you are really not sinning. Nonsense! If a guy says that to you, young (and not so young) woman, "Run!".